News

Morning Greatness: WHO, China Coming Under Fire for China Virus Shenanigans

Good Friday morning.

Here’s what is on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president participates in an Easter Blessing with Bishop Harry Jackson
  • 1:00PM Members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a press briefing

LISTEN TO THE LATEST EPISODE OF “HAPPY HOUR” WITH JULIE AND LIZ: We talk to Justin Hart about the Coronavirus models.

WHO, China coming under fire on multiple fronts

It’s about time. The U.S. gave $400M to the World Health Organization in 2019. By comparison, China gave $44M. It looks like our contributions might be changing soon:

U.S. agencies and departments that channel money to the World Health Organization have been asked not to send more such funds this fiscal year without first obtaining higher-level approval, two people familiar with the issue said.

Funding approval might come from the National Security Council or the White House.

“There will be many lessons to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic, including where and how the WHO system fell short in fulfilling its mission so that we can avoid future crises. We believe a full assessment of WHO’s performance would be appropriate after we have addressed the current pandemic,” a State Department spokesperson said.

The Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are also looking at the WHO and sent a letter to the organization asking it to detail its relationship with China.

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote: “Throughout the crisis, the WHO has shied away from placing any blame on the Chinese government, which is in essence the Communist Party of China. You, as leader of the WHO, even went so far as to praise the Chinese government’s “transparency” during the crisis, when, in fact, the regime has consistently lied to the world by underreporting their actual infection and death statistics.”

“On January 14, 2020, the WHO tweeted that “[p]reliminary investigations conducted by Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus.”

The Department of Justice is also getting into the China mix, recommending “the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revoke and terminate China Telecom Corp.’s authorizations to provide international telecommunication services to and from the U.S.”

“Today, more than ever, the life of the nation and its people runs on our telecommunications networks,” said John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security.

“The security of our government and professional communications, as well as of our most private data, depends on our use of trusted partners from nations that share our values and our aspirations for humanity,” Demers said in a statement.

The DoJ has reviewed previous authorizations for China Telecom’s “determined the company had failed to comply with the terms of an existing agreement with the department. China Telecom is a subsidiary of the People’s Republic of China state-owned telecommunications company.”

Good. Let’s go.

Related:
China calls Taiwan’s criticism against WHO ‘venomous’
Bret Baier says China stepping up international ‘propaganda game’ to look ‘benevolent’ amid pandemic

Senate Democrats block small business relief

On Thursday, the Senate Democrats “failed to approve an emergency funding infusion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a federal plan designed to extend loans to keep those ailing businesses afloat and workers getting paid.”

Democrats blocked a request from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to unanimously approve a $250 billion PPP replenishment to the original $350 billion fund, demanding more aid for hospitals and other needs be included.

“Just a few days after the program opened for business, $100 billion in loans have already been committed. That is 30 percent of the total funding, spoken for in just the first few days,” said McConnell, calling the Democrats’ blockade “political maneuvering.”

“This does not have to be, nor should it be, contentious. We don’t have to divide along the usual lines so soon after we came together for the country,” added McConnell. “To my Democratic colleagues, please, do not block emergency aid you do not even oppose just because you want something more.

Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen said McConnell’s move was a “a political stunt.”

“Yes, we need more money,” Van Hollen said, “But for goodness sakes, let’s take the opportunity to make this program work better for the very businesses it is designed to help.”

The Democrats and big government Republicans should not be allowed to bloat this bill with pet projects and snacks for their constituencies.

I want to call your attention to this: “Real Clear Civics”

RealClearFoundation, a nonprofit organization in partnership with RealClearPolitics, announced today the publication of a new website dedicated to renewing civic education in the United States. RealClearPublicAffairs: American Civics presents an authoritative and inspiring account of the civic history of the United States that avoids a blind chauvinism or a warts-only view of our country and its people. Above all, it seeks to explain, as the contemporary Irish poet Bono once said, why America is “one of the greatest ideas in human history—this idea that you and me are created equal.”

We are at a pivotal time in our nation’s history. Our political leaders have asked “We the People” to stay home from work and practice social distancing and good hygiene in the name of the common good. But what are these concepts—“People,” “nation,” and the “common good”? Our leaders explain that America and her people will overcome this public crisis because our country remains the greatest, freest nation of the world. But upon what ground is this American optimism built? Our American Civics page provides these answers. Rather than living by the constant fluctuations of the 24-hour news cycle, take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to understand your country—and your American self—a little better.

“RealClear’s American Civics web portal gives students, teachers, and citizens-in-the-making a clear understanding of our nation’s founding principles and history,” said RealClearPolitics Publisher David DesRosiers. “We draw upon the best resources, research, and scholarly writing in order to educate and inspire a new generation of Americans.”

Housed at RealClearPublicAffairs—and found on the front pages of RealClearHistory and RealClearEducation—our civics portal unleashes RealClear’s curated approach in the service capturing the depth and breadth of important issues of public concern. Our ambition is to see this civics portal develop into the premier place for online learning about the American experiment in self-government.

Visitors will encounter the familiar RealClear format of daily news curation and multimedia resources along with subpages dedicated to exploring key themes such as equalityliberty, and race and slavery. Each subpage features essential readings, primary and secondary resources, podcasts and videos, and lessons plans and curricula for teachers. Additional subpages will be added as the site grows over the course of the year.

Renowned historian Wilfred McClay praised RealClear’s American Civics portal: “If we are to keep our republic, we need to do a better job of forming our people for citizenship. To that end, the RealClear republic of good sense has come along with this impressive new website, designed to be a gathering place for the best resources relating to that subject: history, government, economics, and current events, all in one place.”

RealClearFoundation is grateful for the support of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation (DDSF) in developing this effort. “The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation is delighted to partner with RealClear,” said Diana Spencer, President of DDSF. “This civics website will embrace American pride and patriotism, highlighting our history, our values, and our freedoms.”

Coronavirus links
Japan’s sudden spike in coronavirus cases after Tokyo Olympics postponement raises eyebrows
Beverly Hills orders residents to wear face covering even for walks through neighborhood
Can you get coronavirus twice?
Minnesota doctor blasts ‘ridiculous’ CDC coronavirus death count guidelines
Jerk. Nevada man charged with stealing 200 masks from VA hospital, prosecutors say
Minnesota doctor blasts ‘ridiculous’ CDC coronavirus death count guidelines
Fauci lowers U.S. coronavirus death forecast to 60,000, says social distancing is working
Liberty University pushes for criminal charges against journalists
US testing of 2nd possible coronavirus vaccine underway
White House will test reporters for coronavirus before briefings
General says coronavirus may affect more Navy ships
As coronavirus slams D.C. region, spy agencies tweak rules for contractors
CDC Still Hasn’t Explained How To Protect Elderly After Social Distancing Ends
Fox’s Hume slams Trump for ‘ridiculous tweet’: ‘Bragging, endlessly repeating himself’
Postmaster General warns that Postal Service will run out of money by end of fiscal year without aid
Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening
PETA Pushes Back Against Wet Market Supporters, Reveals Videos Showing Boiled Dogs
CAUTION: disturbing images China reclassifies dogs as pets instead of livestock
Chinese government reveals draft list of animals which can be farmed for meat
Michigan governor extends state shutdown through April
‘You can’t relax’: Vigilance urged as New York sees signs of coronavirus progress
Insurance companies reduce premiums amid coronavirus outbreak
Of course. James Carville says Republicans ‘will kill people to stay in power, literally’
Jerks. People are luring Instacart shoppers with big tips — and then changing them to zero
Ammon Bundy vows to defy stay-at-home orders for Easter gathering
Controversy in California after governor sends 500 ventilators back to national stockpile
Science Magazine Apologizes for Associating Chinese Virus with China

Other morsels:
Biden releases plans to expand Medicare, forgive student debt
Pelosi calls for investigation into reports of mistreatment of pregnant women in DHS custody
Amen. Barr says Trump was right to fire intel watchdog, calls Russia probe ‘one of the greatest travesties’
AG William Barr: China Far Bigger Threat Than Russia, ‘One of Our Highest Priorities’ in Counterintelligence

And that’s all I’ve got, now go put on your hand sanitizer!

News • Uncategorized

Counties in California Order Face Covering

The acting public health officer in San Bernardino County, California, has now issued an order that everyone in the county must wear a face covering when leaving home. The order includes a description of acceptable face coverings that include anything that can secure to the ears or back of the head and encompass the mouth and nose. Homemade cloth ear loop covers, bandannas and handkerchiefs and neck gaiters were suggested and residents were urged to preserve surgical and N95 masks for healthcare workers and emergency responders.

The order also singles out Christians who will be celebrating Easter on Sunday, stating that faith-based services must be electronic only through streaming or online technology and goes as far as to specify that people may not leave their homes for driving parades or drive-up services or even to pick up non-essential items “such as pre-packaged Easter eggs or bags filled with candy and toys at a drive-thru location”.

The crackdown on county residents’ public attire and religious expression is further justified by the statement that San Bernardino County has 530 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and that the deaths of 16 county residents have been “associated” with the disease. San Bernardino County has a population of 2+ million people.

Violation of the order is a crime punishable by up to a $1,000 fine or imprisonment up to 90 days, or both.  There is no projected end to this order.

San Bernardino County joins Riverside County, California in the face-covering order, after Riverside County changed their face-covering suggestion to an order, claiming 18 deaths due to COVID-19. Riverside County has a population of 2+ million people.

San Bernardino County’s order was issued on Tuesday, April 7. As of Wednesday, April 8, the County has issued a “clarification” of the order. Organizations that have planned religious services for the coming weekend “should proceed with those services if they choose to do so and make every effort to prevent contact between congregants”. They have also clarified that there is no need to use a face-covering while driving and it is noted that other clarifying guidance will be forthcoming. They also note that the County “does not expect law enforcement to broadly impose citations on violators”.

News

Comcast’s Business Dealings in China Might Influence Coronavirus Coverage

American media outlets doing the bidding of the Chinese might not be entirely ideologically driven, The Daily Caller writes.

J. Arthur Bloom, managing editor of The American Conservative, told Tucker Carlson that Comcast’s business ties to Beijing could explain the company-wide hesitancy in directly challenging the Chinese Virus claims coming out of China.

Carlson noted that anti-Trump bias could be driving media outlets to side with China, but Bloom countered that at least with regard to Comcast/NBC the reasons could be all business.

“We’ve got this tremendous disconnect between what the American people actually think about China and what the media has been telling us,” Bloom explained. “Something like 70% of Americans blame China for it, and yet that’s not what we’ve been getting. So, why? There’s all the usual reasons that most reporters are liberal, and that they trust experts a lot, but they’re also in business with them.”

“The Chinese inserts in ‘The New York Times’ or ‘The Washington Post,’ those have gotten a lot of attention but also some of these bigger conglomerates like Comcast which owns NBC Universal, for example they are building a big theme park in Beijing which is a multibillion dollar investment which hasn’t come on line yet,” Bloom continued. “And so what does that mean? If Rachel Maddow were to come on and start bashing the Chinese government, you know, the communist party could come down and say, ‘Actually, we are not interested in opening or theme park anymore.’”

Bloom also pointed out that, “The NBA situation was a great example where just one owner of a team was critical of the Chinese and yet the hammer came down hard on the entire league. They are not known for a proportional response here.”

And while China recently expelled some American journalists from the country, Bloom didn’t think any NBC journalists were in that group. “I would think if they were covering China in a tough way it’s a badge of honor to be kicked out,” he said.

News

WHO: Don’t Politicize Coronavirus ‘If You Don’t Want to Have Many More Body Bags’

Breitbart reports, “World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday responded to President Trump’s decision to withhold United States funding, saying that now was not the time to point fingers.”

Ghebreyesus warned against politicizing the novel coronavirus after Trump threatened to cut off the organization due its disastrous handling of the outbreak.

“For now, the focus should be on fighting this virus,” he said at a press conference after he was asked about Trump’s move. “The focus of all political parties should be to save their people.”

“Please don’t politicize this virus,” he added. “If you want to have many more body bags, then you do it. If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it.”

“We shouldn’t waste time pointing fingers,” he continued. “Let’s unite.”

The previous day, Trump announced he was suspending U.S. funding for the WHO. He called the agency “very China centric,” and tweeted, “the W.H.O. really blew it.”

Trump has repeatedly targeted the WHO and China over their early response to COVID-19, claiming the WHO, a United Nations body responsible for international public health, seemed “very biased toward China.”

China has been accused of hiding and destroying early evidence of the coronavirus found in Wuhan as early as November. Some of its officials have claimed that U.S. soldiers brought it to Wuhan.

News

Pharma Exec. Says FDA ‘Red Tape’ Holding Up Coronavirus Antibodies Test

Dr. Stephen McColgan, chief medical officer at Vivera Pharmaceuticals, California, says his company’s antibody test already exists, Fox News reports.

McColgan, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday that his company’s rapid coronavirus antibody test is ready to be deployed, but is being held up by “red tape” at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We have a rapid antibody test. And the key to this is, this is part of the solution to the crisis,” McColgan said. “It identifies patients that have immunity and it identifies people that can give plasma [to] critically ill patients.

“It was developed in Germany,” McColgan said. “Germany has the lowest mortality from COVID-19 globally at this point, and they’ve tested everybody. So this is good. It’s used by our allies in Europe.”

McColgan described the test as “high-quality” and “high-value,” adding that its deployment is part of his company’s goal to “get America back to work again and to make America well again.”

According to Biospace, before his interview with Tucker Carlson, McColgan highlighted the benefits of the test stating, “Our antibody test is a game changer, as it identifies the people who have been infected and have immunity with only two drops of blood from a finger prick.  Importantly, it complements the PCR test which defines infection. Identifying individuals who have immunity is paramount because they can now be on the front lines taking care of patients, and potentially providing plasma donations to the critically ill.”

Many experts say antibody testing studies could provide an indication of how many people have been infected and thus help governments to assess the risk of easing restrictions.

“When you have a patient that does have the infection [and] recovered, they have the antibodies, the antibodies mean they have immunity,” McColgan said. “So when you spin off the plasma on their blood and give it to the critically ill patient, then those antibodies fight the viral infection and allow that patient to recover … So it’s critical.”

McColgan said his company has had the test ready for three weeks and was “trying to deploy it.”

“You know, the red tape in the FDA and President Trump has been trying to cut through it,” he said. “I don’t know why New York’s been crying about, you know, no testing, no tests … You know, it’s always sort of the red tape of government moves slowly.”

News

Dems Block McConnell’s $250 Billion Emergency Spending Bill for Small Businesses

Senate Democrats have again blocked a coronavirus spending bill, even as U.S. jobless claims on Thursday reached a staggering 16.6 million.

The urgent $250 billion request was meant to shore up the depleting small business fund, but failed to pass the Senate because Democrats wanted an additional $250 billion in aid for small businesses, hospitals, states and food assistance programs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped Democrats would “not play games” and would pass the clean bill Thursday morning “with speed and bipartisanship” through unanimous consent.

Due to the enormous demand, the original $350 billion program to help businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic is expected to run dry in the near future, according to Fox News.

The stalemate in the Senate comes as a record-breaking number of Americans have filed for unemployment with the economy shutting down nationwide under stay-at-home orders. New jobless numbers out Thursday morning show a total of 16.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the last three weeks.

Earlier Thursday, McConnell urged Democrats to pass the clean bill and not “treat working Americans as political hostages.”

“To my Democratic colleagues, please … please … do not block emergency aid you do not even oppose just because you want something more,” McConnell pleaded. “Nobody believes this is the Senate’s last word on COVID-19. We don’t have to do everything right now.”

The Kentucky Republican explained that large comprehensive bills aren’t even allowed under the Senate’s unanimous consent rules. “In fact the posture of needing unanimous consent does not even permit us to try to do everything right now,” he said. “We cannot play games with this crisis.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) blasted the Democrats for blocking the critical aid.

Last month, Democrats twice blocked the emergency coronavirus stimulus bill so they could stuff it with an “ideological wish list” that included collective bargaining powers for unions, increased fuel emissions standards for airlines, an expansion of wind and solar tax credits,  student loan debt relief, and election-security funding.

A group of liberal senators are now calling for future coronavirus stimulus packages to include funding for “local journalism.” 

“Local news is in a state of crisis that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the senators wrote in a letter to Senate  leadership on Wednesday.

Among the letter’s 19 signatories were Democrats Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.), as well as Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine).

 

News

DHS Advises Churches to Start Planning for Life After the Coronavirus

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently told churches and other houses of worship to start preparing for life after the coronavirus pandemic passes over, as reported by ABC News.

In a letter sent to multiple religious leaders, Brian Harrell, the assistant director for infrastructure security at DHS, said that “although many people undoubtedly continue to practice their faith, including through remote services and prayer, most are inevitably eager to return to normalcy and join their fellow congregants in practicing their faiths.”

“The American people are resilient, and will achieve this goal soon,” Harrell reassured the leaders.

Harrell further suggested that “social distancing” measures may have to remain in place long after the worst of the virus has passed, and that churches should “review your security plans and ensure procedures are in place to protect your facilities and visitors.”

Harrell’s letter ended by thanking the leaders for “everything you do to champion the American people’s Constitutional First Amendment rights, as well as your leadership in keeping our houses of worship safe and secure.”

Churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship have become prominent symbols of hope and unity in the midst of the pandemic, with many facilities continuing to hold in-person worship services. Some have faced backlash, including a pastor in Florida who was arrested for continuing to hold services even though his church maintained social distancing and other hygiene protocols.

News

Bernie Sanders Drops Out, Leaving Joe Biden as Presumptive Democratic Nominee

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has ended his bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in the 2020 election, thus leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive nominee.

The socialist senator from Vermont had previously risen to fame by challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the 2016 primaries. In both 2016 and 2020, he ran as an unapologetic “democratic socialist,” advocating for such policies as universal healthcare and the Green New Deal.

While he was one of only five candidates in the 2016 primaries, Sanders was up against 28 other candidates in 2020, which was by far the largest presidential primary field in American history. Building off his runner-up status from the last cycle, and with a strong grassroots base that made him by far the most well-funded candidate in terms of small dollar donations, he emerged as the frontrunner in the early primaries.

After narrowly winning the popular vote in the heavily-disputed Iowa caucuses, coming second in the delegate totals behind former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.), Sanders went on to win sizeable victores in New Hampshire and Nevada.

However, just as it appeared that he might conquer the heavily-divided field on Super Tuesday, Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) both suddenly dropped out right before Super Tuesday and endorsed Biden, in a move that many considered to be a deliberately coordinated act by the Democratic National Committee to unite the party behind Biden.

Biden won the South Carolina primary by a landslide due to his support among African-Americans, then swept the majority of Super Tuesday contests, surpassing Sanders and building a lead that the senator could never overcome. Biden had accumulated over 1,200 delegates, while Sanders had just over 900. A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to officially clinch the nomination.

Sanders announced his withdrawal yesterday in an online address from his home in Burlington, Vermont. Although he admitted that Biden would be the nominee, he vowed to remain on the ballot in every remaining states so that his campaign could continue to acquire more delegates, in order to wield more influence over the party platform at the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

Sanders’ withdrawal leaves Biden, the 77-year-old former vice president, as the presumptive nominee who will face off against President Donald Trump in November.

News

Democrats Prepare for Obama to Take Active Role in 2020 Election

With former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in the 2020 election, Democratic observers expect that former President Barack Obama will begin reappearing on the campaign trail in support of his former second-in-command, as The Hill reports.

Following the withdrawal from the race of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Biden has all but secured the nomination and will face off against President Donald Trump in November. Sources say that Obama and Biden have spoken on the phone in recent days, increasing Democratic anticipation for Obama’s return to the spotlight.

Obama had infamously refused to endorse his former vice president in the beginning, staying suspiciously quiet and not speaking out in support of any candidate in particular. Upon entering the race, Biden claimed, to skeptical reactions, that he didn’t want Obama’s endorsement anyway. It had been reported that Obama, in a private conversation with another candidate, had even said that he believed Biden didn’t have the enthusiastic support that is necessary to win the election.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the country, however, any public appearances by the former president will likely be limited to virtual appearances, including TV and internet advertisements.

Despite some excitement from Democratic pundits that Obama’s endorsement and campaigning may boost Biden’s chances in the general election, one anonymous source, cited by the Hill only as an “Obama ally,” noted that Obama’s endorsement was not enough to carry former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) over the finish line in the 2016 election. The source said “Obama alone won’t do much. We saw what happened in 2016.”

News

Morning Greatness: NCMI Director Contradicts ABC News Story About November Chinese Virus Warning

Good Thursday morning.

Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president has lunch with the Secretary of State
  • President Trump participates in a phone call with Mental Health Leaders and Advocates
  • 5:00PM Members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a press briefing

I talked to Derek Hunter on today’s The Daily Daily Caller Podcast. Have a listen!

NCMI Director contradicts ABC’s anonymously sourced fable that Trump knew about virus in November

The resistance is test marketing various anti-Trump narratives about the Chinese virus pandemic and yesterday, ABC News found some sources (or activated their derp state operatives) to allege that the intel community briefed Trump about the deadly pathogen all the way back in November of 2019. Ergo, Trump knew in advance and basically DGAF. Of course this makes no sense, why would he do that, what advantage would he have ignoring the deadly Chinese virus?

Here’s what ABC News reported:

“U.S. intelligence officials were warning that a contagion was sweeping through China’s Wuhan region, changing the patterns of life and business and posing a threat to the population, according to four sources briefed on the secret reporting.”

“Two officials familiar with the document’s contents” reportedly told ABC that those concerns “were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI).”

And more:

The sources told the news outlet that a “detailed explanation of the problem” appeared in President Donald Trump’s “Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January.”

“The timeline of the intel side of this may be further back than we’re discussing,” a source reportedly told ABC. “But this was definitely being briefed beginning at the end of November as something the military needed to take a posture on.”

Fast forward and now we learn “Dr. R. Shane Day, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), issued a statement on Wednesday countering ABC News’ claim that his agency laid out coronavirus concerns in a November intelligence report.”

Here’s what Dr. Day had to say: “As a matter of practice the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters,” the statement read. “However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists.

Fox News reports, “The DIA and NCMI spent the past 24 hours going over anything that could be related to the alleged assessment, but failed to find anything, a defense official told Fox News.”

Same sh!t, different day.

Miscellaneous Coronavirus news:
Tucker Unpacks Connections Between Comcast’s Theme Park Deal In China And Favorable Coverage
Rep. Thomas Massie wants lawmakers back in DC for votes on coronavirus funds
Blaming the WHO and China Is Not Scapegoating
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro calls WHO chief one of China’s ‘proxies’ at the UN
Democrats want $500B more in crisis relief, setting up Senate showdown
Lawmaker calls out airlines over rejected refunds: ‘We bailed out your company’
DHS to houses of worship: Start planning now for life after COVID-19 crisis
Dr. Gupta explains concerns over medicines touted by Trump
Massachusetts attorney general investigates veterans nursing home, site of deadly coronavirus outbreak
Birx says drop in US death projection is due to Americans changing their behavior through social distancing
Meat plants are shutting down as workers get sick
Amid coronavirus, Trump seizes chance to carry out a long-desired purge of government watchdogs
Barr disappointed by partisan attacks leveled at President Trump, says media on a ‘jihad’ against hydroxychloroquine
Pharmaceutical executive claims FDA ‘red tape’ holding up coronavirus antibodies test
Strategic National Stockpile nearly out of coronavirus N95 masks, other protective equipment, HHS says
Defense official says media reports about November coronavirus intel assessment are false
Cash-strapped rural hospitals struggle to stay open, brace for coronavirus
Johns Hopkins doctor hopes coronavirus blood plasma therapy ‘can save people’, ‘stem the suffering’
CBP to seize exports of coronavirus masks, gloves, PPE, to ensure US doesn’t need them
Verma-Azar feud extends into coronavirus era
Senate Democrats Say Trump Admin ‘Blatantly Misinterpreting’ The Law With Emergency Border Closure
Fauci: I don’t think we should shake hands ‘ever again’
Trump says he’ll look into small business loan program restricting casinos
From fine to flailing – rapid health declines in COVID-19 patients jar doctors, nurses
Congressional Black Caucus calls on CDC to report racial data
Trump rips WHO coronavirus response: ‘Everything seems to be China’s way’
Coronavirus was spreading in NYC weeks before first case, researchers say
20 retailers giving back during the coronavirus pandemic
Fake cops are stopping drivers for violating coronavirus stay-at-home orders
More than 50,000 Americans flown home to US as the coronavirus pandemic rages around globe
Smokers more at risk in coronavirus fight, study says
The conspiracy linking 5G to coronavirus just will not die
A Georgia bar owner removed $3,714 worth of bills stapled to the walls to give to her unemployed staff
Colorado Democrat believes Trump awarded ventilators as political favor to vulnerable GOP senator

Other morsels:
Former Trump campaign adviser denied campaign was involved in DNC hack in recorded conversation
RIP. Linda Tripp, whose tapes exposed Clinton scandal, dies at 70
U.S. fines Rite Aid over improper sales of pseudoephedrine
Sanders quits U.S. presidential race, setting up Biden battle with Trump
Awful. Body of Robert F. Kennedy’s great-grandson recovered from Chesapeake Bay
Democrats salivate over Obama coming off sidelines

And that’s all I’ve got, now go put your mask on!

News

Trump Suggests He and Obama Know Something About ‘Sleepy Joe’ That the Media Doesn’t Know

President Trump suggested Wednesday that he knows something about his opponent Joe Biden that the media doesn’t know, and it explains why former president Barack Obama has not yet endorsed him for president.

Trump made the intriguing comments during the daily coronavirus task force briefing after a reporter from Taiwan asked him about 2020 race.

“I don’t know why President Obama hasn’t supported Joe Biden a long time ago,” Trump said.  “There’s something he feels is wrong,” he added mysteriously. “He’ll come out, I’m sure he’s gotta come out at some point ’cause he certainly doesn’t want to see me for four more years. We’re not—ah—we think a little bit differently,” the president joked.

“It does amaze me that President Obama hasn’t supported—Sleepy Joe. It just hasn’t happened! When’s it going to happen?” Trump asked emphatically. “Why isn’t he?!”

The president proceeded to answer his own question. “He knows something that you don’t know,” he explained, pointing to the White House reporters in attendance.  “I think I know, but you don’t know.”

Trump didn’t offer any more details about why he thinks Obama hasn’t endorsed Biden, but said “it will be interesting.”

Earlier Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders announced the suspension of his campaign but said that he would remain on the ballot in upcoming states and continue to collect delegates in order to “exert significant influence” at the party’s convention.

“He didn’t really drop out,” Trump remarked.

“That’s not dropping out, when you keep your delegates and then you want more delegates before you get to the convention, that’s a weird deal going on there,” Trump said.

 

 

 

 

News

New Book on Melania Trump Paints Picture of Politically Ambitious First Lady

A Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter has written an unauthorized biography of first lady Melania Trump that reportedly paints a very different portrait of the the former model than most people are used to seeing.

“The Art of Her Deal” by Mary Jordan comes out June 16. The author claims to have traveled to more than five countries and interviewed more than 100 people for the book.

She reportedly began working on the biography in 2015.

“The picture is one of a woman who is savvy, steely, ambitious, deliberate, and who plays the long game,” Simon & Schuster said in an announcement Wednesday. “With the help of key people who speak publicly for the first time and never before seen documents and tapes, ‘The Art of Her Deal’ paints a surprising portrait of a determined immigrant and the life she had before she met Donald Trump.”

Although she’s often portrayed as a reluctant prisoner of the White House, the first lady is actually an enthusiastic booster of President Trump’s political ambitions, according to Jordan.

“The real Melania Trump is far more interesting than the image that many people have of her,” Jordan said in a statement. “She is already gearing up for 2020, and she wants to win as much as her husband does.”

Jordan has reportedly interviewed Melania Trump in her capacity as a reporter for the Post, but the White House declined her request to interview the first lady for the book.

The first lady on Wednesday released a brief video message thanking the medical personnel and other front-line responders fighting the coronavirus in the United States.

“It is because of you that the people of America are receiving the care and treatment they need,” the first lady says in the video, which was recorded as she stood outside on a White House balcony.

“We stand united with you and we salute your courageous and compassionate efforts. Our prayers are with all who are fighting this invisible enemy, COVID-19.”

News

Sen. Graham: ‘No More Money For W.H.O.’ Until They Have New Leadership

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday vowed to strip funding for the World Health Organization from the next appropriations bill because of its pro-China virus.

During an appearance on Fox News’ “The Story,” Graham agreed with President Trump’s view that W.H.O. under the current leadership has become “very China-centric” and unworthy of the United States’ funding.

“We’re going to put a hold on the W.H.O.,” Trump announced in his coronavirus press conference, Tuesday. “We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it.”

“In the next appropriations bill, there’s not going to be any money for the W.H.O. I’m in charge of the appropriations subcommittee,” Graham told host Martha McCallum. “I’m not going to support funding the W.H.O. under its current leadership. They’ve been deceptive, they’ve been slow, and they’ve been Chinese apologists. I don’t think they’re a good investment, under the current leadership, for the United States. And until they change their behavior and get new leadership, I think it’s in America’s best interests to withhold funding because they’ve failed miserably when it comes to the coronavirus and did the same thing in 2015.”

The senator also pointed out that W.H.O. attacked the president when he shut down travel from China in January.

“Not only did they praise President Xi, they criticized President Trump,” Graham noted.

“Here’s the point. Without China lying to the world about how the disease is transmitted, withholding information about the level of infection, [and] silencing doctors, there would be no pandemic,” Graham charged, adding that “China is a pandemic incubator” because of its unsanitary wet markets.

“No more money to the W.H.O. until they get new people in charge who understand that they’re there to help the world fight disease, not apologize for China,” the S.C. Republican declared.

Graham also agreed with President Trump on the need to bring the medical supply chain back to the United States.

“We’re in a terrible spot having to depend on China to make our antibiotics, our personal protection equipment … that supply chain needs to come back into the United States,” he said.

A group of House Republicans led by Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) introduced legislation on Tuesday to withhold funding from W.H.O. until Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus resigns.

As Fox News pointed out, the U.S. is the largest contributor to the organization, and thus has significant leverage:

Reschenthaler, along with more than 20 other House Republican co-sponsors, backed the resolution that says “the United States should withhold the contribution of Federal funds to the World Health Organization until Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus resigns and an international commission to investigate the World Health Commission is established.”…

The United States is the single largest contributor to the WHO. The most recent invoice from the WHO to the United States, which is one of many countries that fund the organization, was for nearly $116 million per year. The United States also voluntarily gives between approximately $100 million and $400 million more per year to the WHO for specific projects – contributions that totaled over $400 million in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available.

Update:

At a media briefing Wednesday, Dr Tedros, the Director General of W.H.O., made some comments that struck some people as a threat.

Before he was elected to lead the W.H.O. in 2017, Tedros was a career (left-wing) politician who had never practiced as a medical doctor, according to the Daily Mail. He was born in what is now Eritrea and began his work under the Communist Derg junta.

Shortly after his election to the WHO, a report in The Times said: ‘Chinese diplomats had campaigned hard for the Ethiopian, using Beijing’s financial clout and opaque aid budget to build support for him among developing countries.’

News

Donald Trump Threatens Hold on World Health Organization Funding

President Donald Trump threatened Tuesday to put a hold on $58m in funding to the World Health Organization saying it had been “very China-centric” during the coronavirus pandemic, Breitbart reports.

“We want to look into the World Health Organization because they really called it wrong,” Trump said. “They missed the call, they could have called it months earlier, they would have known, they should have known, and they probably did know.”

The president pointed out that WHO actually criticized his travel ban late January.

“Such restrictions can have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said about travel bans just days after Trump banned travel from China.

Trump said the WHO frequently sided with China despite heavy criticism for their lack of transparency about the virus. “They seem to be very China-centric,” he said. “That’s a nice way of saying it, but they seem to be very China-centric, and they seem to err always on the side of China.”

“It’s a great thing when it works, but when they call every shot wrong, it’s no good,” he said.

Later in the briefing, reporters asked why he would freeze funding to the WHO in the middle of a pandemic. “I’m not saying I’m going to do it. But we’re going to look at it,” the president said.

News

Ayanna Pressley: Next Coronavirus Stimulus Should Support Illegal Immigrants

The Daily Caller reports, “Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley said that she wants the next coronavirus stimulus package that Congress passes to provide funds for illegal aliens.”

Pressleytold MSNBC  said she wants to see the next COVID-19 relief package include more “vulnerable populations,” such as the :”homeless, men and women in jail, and those living in the U.S. illegally,” according to The Daily Caller.

“We need to continue to make federal investments in our community health centers,” the first-term lawmaker said. “We need to center the humanity of every individual family and workers and that includes not leaving behind undocumented and uninsured.”

“We have to continue to make investments to support vulnerable populations like those experiencing homelessness, incarcerated men and women,” she continued. “We’re focused right now making sure the CARES Act in its implementation is one that is in urgent need and mitigating the hurt that so many of our families are experiencing — all of our families are experiencing right now.”

Congress passed a $2.2 trillion relief bill, the CARES Act, providing financial assistance to Americans struggling under the coronavirus pandemic. However, many Democrats want more relief and  want the next package to include those living in the U.S. illegally.

Several House Democrats have already introduced legislation that would allow illegal aliens living in the U.S. unlawfully to apply for funds from the recently passed coronavirus relief package.

Pressley noted on Tuesday that a lot of Americans are hurting right now under coronavirus pandemic. “The gravity of it and our responsibility at the moment is overwhelming. There’s a lot of hurt. And so we have a lot of work to do to meet the scale and scope of that hurt,” she said.

News

Illinois Mayor Finds out Wife Was at Social Gathering Broken up by Cops

Brant Walker, the mayor of Alton, Illinois, said he is “embarrassed” after his wife, Shannon was found partying at a local bar police busted over the weekend, violating a stay-at-home order, The Hill reports.

Walker issued the statement on Facebook after Alton Police Chief Jason “Jake” Simmons reported that officers broke up the party at Hiram’s Tavern at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday.

“I was also made aware that my wife was in attendance at this prohibited social gathering. I instructed the Police Chief to treat her as he would any citizen violating the ‘Stay At Home’ order and to ensure that she received no special treatment,” he wrote.

Walker’s wife was discovered among “several” people “located inside Hiram’s Tavern in an area outside public view, clearly disregarding the executive order and public pleas for compliance,” the Alton police department said.

The embarrassing Sunday incident came 24 hours after Walker again pleaded with residents to follow the state’s stay at home order. After police reported that people were continuing to defy the rules, the mayor said he had directed the city’s police department to use its discretion in issuing citations and arrests.

“These are very serious times and I’m begging you to please stay at home and parents, please keep your kids at home, doing so is vital to our health,” he said at a press briefing on Friday.

“I have directed the police department to use their discretion in issuing citations or making arrests to those refusing to follow the state issued stay at home mandate. We will do whatever it takes to decrease the spread of this deadly virus,” he added.

Walker further noted in his statement that his wife is an adult who can make her own decisions and exhibited a “stunning lack of judgement.”

“My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance, she exhibited a stunning lack of judgment,” he said. “She now faces the same consequences for her ill-advised decision as the other individuals who chose to violate the ‘Stay At Home’ order during this incident.”

News

Crime Victims Protest the Release of Dangerous Criminals Due to Coronavirus

As criminals are being released from New York prisons in order to avoid catching the coronavirus, the victims and families of those impacted by the prisoners’ crimes are raising objections to the widespread and systematic release, as reported by ABC News.

One such case is a prisoner from Rikers Island named Jimmy Rosario, who killed a man in June of 2019. He was subsequently convicted of third-degree assault in October 2019, and sentenced to one year in prison. Rosario is among the prisoners who has since been released due to Rikers becoming vulnerable to the virus.

Subsequently, LaTor Scott, the younger sister of Rosario’s victim Troy Scott, revealed that “nobody contacted us” about Rosario’s early release, and that “the prosecutor on my brother’s case didn’t even know he was getting out.” She herself only found out by looking up Rosario’s information on the inmate website, where she saw that he was classified as released; she and her family now fear encountering Rosario again, since he lives several blocks down the street from them.

Another example is John Bartee, who was convicted of third-degree assault for beating his wife on three different occasions, and was sentenced in November of 2019 to a year at Rikers. Upon his release, the Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark objected to his and other prisoners’ releases, saying that it was his “duty to protect the public, and the victims and survivors who remain vulnerable knowing that many of the individuals who were incarcerated are returning to the community.”

In response to the criticisms, the state’s Department of Corrections has since revised their previous release plan to now include surveillance of released inmates at their homes.

But Scott said that the release of such prisoners was “a double slap in our faces,” adding that “I think it’s kind of crazy that they are doing this without notifying families.”

News

American Universities Accepted $10 Billion From Foreign Countries Over 5 Years

According to a report by Breitbart, multiple American universities have been accepting billions of dollars’ worth of donations from foreign governments over the course of five years from 2013 to 2018, totaling about $10 billion, and with $1 billion unaccounted for.

The Department of Education is currently investigating multiple universities for their various donations from such countries as China, Russia, Saudia Arabia, and Qatar. The Department of Education also said that representatives of such foreign countries have infiltrated universities in order to “steal proprietary research,” while others have been attempting to spread propaganda in favor of their respective governments.

In many cases, universities that have accepted such donations subsequently agree to open up foreign campuses in the countries that have donated to them, with some of them incorporating the aforementioned propaganda into their curriculum as fact.

According to the Department of Education’s statement, a “preliminary review suggests some American IHEs (Institutions of Higher Education) relentlessly pursue funds from autocracies such as China and Qatar,” and that “the evidence we have reviewed to date tracks Congressional findings that American colleges and universities have provided unprecedented levels of access to foreign governments, corporations, and persons without adequate oversight.”

News

CBS News Slammed for Sharing Video of Woman Falsely Claiming to be a Nurse

CBS News has been heavily criticized for widely sharing a video that has since been revealed as fraudulent, in which a woman falsely claimed to be a nurse who was fired from her job because she wanted to wear a surgical mask while treating coronavirus patients, as reported by Fox News.

CBS shared the video on Twitter of alleged nurse Imaris Vera, who cried in an over-dramatic fashion as she claimed that she quit because the hospital where she was working, Northwestern Medicine, allegedly would not provide their staff with N95 masks. When she tried to wear her own, she claimed that she was told she was not allowed to do so, at which point she quit.

CBS added dramatic music and captions to the video, sharing it and making it go viral with over 8 million views. However, upon closer examination by investigative journalists, numerous inconsistencies were found in Vera’s story. The Federalist’s Chrissy Clark found that Vera had admitted, on her own personal Facebook page, that she “has anxiety and bi-polar depression,” and as such had not worked at the hospital in over a year. She instead spent the year off working as an Instagram model, admitting that “she was unsure if she was ready to return” to the hospital.

As a result of the scrutiny, Vera was forced to walk back part of her emotional rant, conceding that the hospital did, in fact, provide N95 masks to each of their nurses, with one mask for each individual coronavirus patient.

Jordan Schachtel of the Institute of World Politics further dissected the inconsistencies in a thread of tweets, saying that “she had been on the job for a day or two, after taking a year off to pursue something resembling an Instagram model career.” CBS’s coverage, Schachtel said, amounted to “deliberate misrepresentation of her career,” which meant that “you cannot take her statements at face value.” Schachtel noted that, while “she is indeed a nurse,” she “hasn’t been on the job much. Everything else is lies, exaggeration, and unproven statements.”

CBS further corrected their original version of the story, saying that they had reached out to the hospital itself for comment, but received no answer as to why Vera quit; the hospital referred them to Vera herself, only for Vera to make all of her social media accounts private. She has not spoken to the press since the video went viral.

News

Morning Greatness: Government Has Loose Classification System for Chinese Virus Deaths

Good Wednesday morning.

Here’s what is on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president receives his intelligence briefing
  • President Trump participates in a phone call with State, Local, and Tribal Leaders on COVID-19 response and mitigation
  • The president participates in a phone call with faith leaders
  • 5:00PM Members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a press briefing

Birx: It’s all Chinese virus!

No matter what condition you arrive at a hospital in, if you expire, it’s because of the Chinese virus says scarfmaster and Chinese virus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx.

“There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem,” she said during a Tuesday news briefing at the White House. “Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death.

“The intent is … if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that,” she added.

That seems like it might corrupt the data, right? Strange. I wonder if this has anything to do with having the federal government pay for treatment.

Adam Schiff pissy over Atkinson firing, sends mean girl note to DNI Rick Grenell

The Democrats are freaking out after Trump fired their resistance operative, former IC IG Michael Atkinson, who blew his cover when he suddenly changed the regulations governing whistleblowers so that ERIC CIARAMELLA could file a hearsay report, giving the Democrats a pretense to impeach the president.

Schumer has written a nasty letter to Rick Grenell, the acting director of national intelligence. Naturally, Schumer leaked his letter to the media. It’s so predictable with these people.

Schumer is upset that Grenell is cleaning house and Schumer’s tantrum only proves Grenell is right to get the vipers out of the intelligence community.

In the April 7 letter addressed to Grenell, Schiff raised concerns about the intelligence community chief’s ongoing efforts to overhaul the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). ODNI is in charge of the U.S. intelligence community.

Specifically, Schiff complained that Grenell is reorganizing the ODNI without receiving congressional authorization.

The House chairman demanded that Grenell produce information to his panel by April 16 about personnel changes, the firing of the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson, and alleged interference in the production of intelligence on election security.

Developing.

Trump removes IG who would oversee stimulus spending

Good for him.

Glenn Fine, the acting Department of Defense inspector general, was set to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, the group of government watchdogs tasked with rooting out fraud and waste in coronavirus spending programs.

Democrats say the move is politically motivated which leads me to believe this was the right move. “President Trump is abusing the coronavirus pandemic to eliminate honest and independent public servants because they are willing to speak truth to power and because he is so clearly afraid of strong oversight,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

“President Trump’s corrupt action to sideline Acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who was newly-appointed as chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, only strengthens Democrats’ resolve to hold the administration accountable and enforce the multiple strict oversight provisions of the CARES Act,” Schumer said.

“The president thinks he should be the ‘one’ and that is exactly upside down…. The president is sending in some of his loyalists. This is really a problem,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

So confirmed. It was definitely the right thing to do when Schumer and Pelosi are this upset over removing Fine.

Related:
More evidence this was the right move. Mattis defends Pentagon IG removed by Trump
Grassley seeks explanation of Trump’s firing of Atkinson

Coronavirus news:
How Peter Navarro went from an anti-China ‘gadfly’ to trusted Trump coronavirus adviser
Trump says he never saw aide’s memos that warned coronavirus could endanger millions of Americans
Acting Navy secretary resigns after carrier remarks, Esper names replacement
Treasury requests $250 billion more for small business relief
Victim’s family says they weren’t told of violent offender’s release amid COVID-19
Detroit hospital nurses refuse to work without more help, ordered to leave
Virus expert predicts when kids will return to school
Kayleigh McEnany set to become fourth Trump press secretary
Trump isn’t writing prescriptions, doctors are. After Trump’s statements about hydroxychloroquine, lupus and arthritis patients face drug shortage
Faith-based organizations eligible for SBA loans in coronavirus stimulus, officials say
Birx warns against buying coronavirus antibody tests on Internet, says they aren’t reliable yet
ABC News reporter Jon Karl says Trump’s bashing of some media outlets ‘not genuine’
Good. House Republicans demand answers after Kennedy Center lays off employees despite taking stimulus money
Mayo Clinic launches trials of blood test to detect who has recovered and might have immunity to coronavirus
Bureau of Prisons, VA purchase tens of thousands of dollars worth of anti-malaria drug amid coronavirus crisis
CBS News panned for tearful video of nurse claiming she quit over coronavirus concerns
New York City stockpiled ventilators for a pandemic, only to later auction them off: report
Anthony Fauci compares race disparities of coronavirus to AIDS epidemic
‘We’ve Certainly Flattened The Economy’: Brit Hume Weighs In On Coronavirus Response
Ayanna Pressley: Next Coronavirus Stimulus Should Support Illegal Immigrants
CDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump
Phase-four virus relief hits a wall
Michigan sees record high number of COVID-19 deaths in latest report
Illinois mayor ’embarrassed’ to find wife was at social gathering broken up by police
Health care workers account for 20 percent of Iowa coronavirus cases
Texas Democrats sue to expand mail-in voting amid pandemic
Here’s How Pro-Beijing Outlet Phoenix TV Made It Into The White House Coronavirus Press Briefing
Plasma infusions from coronavirus survivors may help ill recover: study
Rand Paul says he’s recovered from coronavirus, volunteering at local hospital
US trial of Japanese flu drug for coronavirus gets green light

And that’s all I’ve got, now go put your mask on!